Claymore – 16
As she enters the ruins, Clare finds a passageway littered with rods punched into the walls. She quickly comes under attack by four normal Yoma, and although she manages to kill three of them, the fourth attempts to run away. Unfortunately for him, he gets caught and crushed by a giant arm emerging from the ground. The arm belongs to Dauf, but he quickly discovers that he has problems moving in this small passageway, giving Clare the opportunity to get in the first attack. Unfortunately, all of her hits barely cut her opponent, so Clare decides to use the Quick Sword technique. In the dungeon below the battle, the young girl expresses her surprise at how well Clare is faring. Ignoring this, a wounded Jean questions why the girl is doing all this, and the girl replies that it’s a secret to be revealed once Jean awakens and allies with her. When Jean asks why she would ally with a monster, the girl laughs and suggests that Jean is like a monster too from a normal human point of view. In trying to convince Jean to join her, the girl says that they’re both not human anymore, however Jean feels that she was born human, lives as a human, and wants to die as a human.
During this time, Clare has finished her Quick Sword onslaught, but Dauf emerges still relatively unhurt. To her surprise, he spits out a giant rod from his mouth and slams her into the ground. He then follows it up with another giant rod that crushes Clare’s legs because he knows it’s harder to repair them than to reattach them. With her incapacitated, Dauf picks Clare up by the head and prepares to take her apart when another Claymore suddenly shows up looking for her – the Organization’s Number 3, Galatea. With someone new to play with, Dauf tries to crush Clare’s head first, but one look from Galatea causes him to drop her. Galatea only seems to care about Clare, so Dauf shoots a giant rod from his mouth at her, but it misses her completely. The subsequent rods from his fingers all miss too, so Dauf fires off a rod that collapses the tunnel in front of them. This leaves Galatea with no choice but to fight, so she lays Clare down so that Clare can heal her own legs. Clare tries to warn Galatea about Dauf, but Galatea is more concerned about the other hidden Yoma energy here, which is something that Clare hadn’t noticed.
Because his projectiles can’t seem to hit her, Dauf tries smashing Galatea with both of his fists, but she somehow gets him to open his hands so that he hit only the ground around her. Galatea then launches her own attack, and while her first hits can’t get through his armor, she finds a weak point to slice through his arm with. She also manages to cut off his other hand, and it is at this point that the young girl from before appears. With Dauf crying over the loss of his hand, the girl instructs him to smash into Galatea with all of his power, and if he misses, then she’ll leave him. When Dauf does exactly as she says, he surprisingly doesn’t miss his mark and instead makes Galatea jump up to avoid it. In fact, Galatea can’t seem to make any of his attacks miss anymore, putting her on the defensive. Watching from the sidelines, the girl explains to Clare that Galatea can control her opponent’s Yoma energy, but she can’t stop the attack itself. That’s why making Dauf launch an attack with all his might means that Galatea can’t do anything against it.
Galatea then attempts to jump up at Dauf, so he punch her into the ground before opening his mouth again to fire a rod at her. Seeing Galatea down, Clare starts releasing her own Yoma energy despite the young girl warning that she’ll go over her limit. She manages to save Galatea from Dauf’s next attack, but Clare now can’t stop herself from approaching the point of Awakening. That is, until Galatea uses her ability to influence Clare and get her to pull back because she had sensed that Clare had the ability to do so. These events get the young girl interested in both Clare and Galatea, and she wants to make them both into her allies. When Clare asks what the young girl is, Galatea reveals there have been three cases of a Number 1 ranked Claymore Awakening in their history: one in the era of males and two in the era of females. These three powerful beings which became known as the Abyssal Ones settled in the north, west, and south of the world and avoided unnecessary conflict. The girl in front of them now is Riful of the West, the Number 1 of the first generation of female warriors.
Finding Galatea quite knowledgeable for her age, Riful clarifies that she wasn’t trying to avoid conflict with the other Abyssal Ones, but that they simply settled in different areas. Galatea then questions why the Abyssal Ones have recently started gathering Awakened Beings as allies, so Riful attributes it all to the man in the north and his one-horned woman. Clare realizes that Riful has been talking about Priscilla, and she now demands to know the name of the man of the north and where he is so that she can kill his woman. Acting like this is a game, Riful promises to tell Clare on the condition that Clare first lands a hit on her. Clare immediately springs into action, however Dauf blocks her every attempt at Riful. When Clare manages to get behind Riful, Dauf fires a rod at her, but Clare stops it with her sword and flings it back at him. Because of how far Clare has surpasses her limit, Galatea stops Clare from getting in her one hit and throws Clare into the dirt, turning her back into normal. She knows that the whole point of all that was so that Riful could get Clare to Awaken, and she feels that they still have a chance if Riful doesn’t intend to fight.
To defeat Dauf, Galatea believes they need the strength of one more person, and that person would be Jean. Knowing how much physically and mentally that Jean has been put through, Galatea sends Clare to get her with instructions to kill her if it’s too late. In the meantime, Galatea starts using her own Yoma energy to hold off Dauf, though Riful thinks that this is just delaying inevitable. Downstairs, Clare finds something that shocks her.
There’s several new characters introduced this week, including the return of Galatea. She showed back in episode 11 that she had the potential to become an ally of Clare’s by not telling Ermita the entire truth about the Awakening she sensed from Deneve. Now that she’s back and in a situation where there’s a common enemy, it made sense for her to help Clare, and that same discretion she used with Ermita might make her decide to join Clare or at least let her go for now (assuming they’re victorious). On that note, I’m a little disappointed that Clare’s new ability was rendered relatively useless so soon again, but I guess that’s part of the highs and lows of every shounen-oriented series.
And then there’s Riful, who may be one of my favorite characters in Claymore now. She’s got that playful quality to her, which voiced Mizuki Nana, and the fact that she acts fairly nice and doesn’t immediately want to kill Clare and Galatea helps. She also points the story back to Priscilla, who appears more and more to be the key holding all this together. Of course, to get to Priscilla, Clare has to get through Riful now and then probably the Abyssal One in the north before reaching her ultimate goal. To do that, Clare needs the help of Jean, who the previews gives away has Awakened. Whatever happens to her, this battle concludes next week in the third and final episode of this arc.